Nanaimo landlord feels 'victorious' despite guilty verdict in tree removal case

By Spencer Sterritt
March 15, 2019 - 4:18pm Updated: March 18, 2019 - 8:10am

Dom Abassi/NanaimoNewsNOW

Grace says the shelter and protection offered by the trees led to the area becoming a cesspool of crimeDom Abassi/NanaimoNewsNOW Staff

NANAIMO — Despite being found guilty of illegally removing eight trees on her property, a Nanaimo landlord feels victorious.

“Taking down the trees really led to the entire community being cleaned up. That's my victory,” Nancy Grace told NanaimoNewsNOW outside the provincial court house on Friday.

Grace never disputed she removed eight trees from her Third St. complex to eliminate a popular shaded spot for unsavory characters to do illegal business. She said the trees provided the perfect cover for homeless camps, drug dealing and hiding the spoils of crime.

"I have tenants that weren't coming out of their homes for years, who now come out and spend time on their balconies chatting with their neighbours. That's changed lives. That goes far beyond the removal of trees."

Grace said she took the proceedings all the way to court to challenge the City and their handling of the situation.

City of Nanaimo employee Kevin Brydges admitted he pressed Grace for information about which contractor was hired to remove the trees.

The City's internal call details on the file, obtained by NanaimoNewsNOW, showed Brydges didn't enter any information on the case until Apr. 20, 2018, five months after he initially spoke with Grace about the tree removal.

Nearly all the entries were made by Brydges within a six-hour period on the same day.

The City is requesting Grace pay the $500 per tree fine and also replant two trees for every tree removed from her property.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 17.

 

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